The Trump Administration Plans To Auction Florida’s Coastal Waters For Drilling

The secret is out! Politico reported that the Trump administration is considering auctioning off Florida’s coastal waters for offshore drilling — and the news is not going over well with Floridians. Once again, the Trump administration is putting oil and gas interests above the livelihoods of Floridians across the state.


In the meantime, the oil and gas industry is salivating over the administration’s plans, and is anxiously awaiting the confirmation of one of their own, David Bernhardt, to head the Interior Department in order to put their plan into high gear. Here’s the latest:


The Trump administration will break its promise to keep Florida off the drilling map with their plans to auction off its shores to the highest bidder.


Politico: “The administration’s position was muddied when former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke held an elaborately staged Jan. 2018 meeting with Scott, then Florida’s governor, to declare the state wouldn’t be on the drilling map…In reality, Trump was upset by the announcement. People familiar with his reaction said Zinke’s statement came without White House approval and contradicted the administration’s ‘energy dominance’ message.”


Politico: “An industry lobbying offensive has put it on the cusp of achieving its holy grail: access to the resource-rich eastern Gulf of Mexico. The idea is so politically toxic in Florida that past presidents haven’t even entertained it. But behind the scenes, oil and gas interests are appealing to Trump’s desire to turbocharge U.S. energy production, including his past openness to drilling off the Florida coast.”


The Trump administration’s promise to exempt Florida from offshore drilling was nothing more than an election year ploy to boost a Trump ally.


Politico: “Records show Trump aides plotted political win for Rick Scott”


Politico: “When Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced on Jan. 9 that Florida was ‘off the table’ for offshore oil drilling, the governor cast the hastily arranged news conference at the Tallahassee airport as unplanned and the Trump administration’s decision as something Scott had influenced at the eleventh hour. In fact, Zinke’s top advance staffer, whose job it is to plan ahead for such events, was in Tallahassee the previous day. And top officials from the offices of both Scott and the secretary were in regular contact for several days leading up to the announcement, according to more than 1,200 documents reviewed by POLITICO Florida as part of a public records request.”

Floridians overwhelmingly oppose offshore drilling and just recently voted to ban oil and gas development.


Politico: “Both parties in Florida oppose offshore drilling. Memories of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which sent tarballs ashore in Florida, bring fears of a future spill damaging the state’s fisheries and tourism.”


Politico: “A Quinnipiac University poll of Florida voters released March 13 showed 64 percent oppose the practice. Republicans, though, supported it by a 54-38 percent margin. A ballot measure banning oil and gas development in state waters passed overwhelmingly in November.”


Despite the bipartisan opposition in Florida, the Trump administration is moving forward with its reckless and dangerous plans.


Politico: “Florida lawmakers from both parties have signed numerous letters rejecting offshore drilling, no matter how far from the state’s shoreline. Many also have pushed back on what’s known as seismic testing, a precursor to drilling that involves blasting sonar from boats toward the seafloor to search for buried oil and gas deposits. Both chambers of the state legislature are moving resolutions rejecting offshore drilling in the Gulf.”


Politico: “‘For all intents and purposes, it’s done,’ said an industry lobbyist familiar with the plan.”